Greek Philosopher Heraclitus of Ephesus (c. 500 BC) said “The only thing constant is change.” The truth of this statement appears to be evident in many ways at Nashville First Baptist Church. Let me walk through a few of the changes that have recently taken place.
- Staff Changes: Retirements and other transitions have created the opportunity for changes to be made in our ministerial team. There are several new faces who are helping us stay on mission.
• Katie Shull is leading our Communications ministry.
• Chuck Satterwhite is our Interim Missions Pastor.
• Lacy Pauley is our Interim Student Ministry Associate joining Josh Hunter who is our Interim Student Minister.
• Lori Towns, while continuing to give leadership to our Young Professionals, is assuming a new role related to Hospitality and Event-Centered Ministry.
- Office Changes: We are running ahead of schedule with our construction. This is necessitating a number of office changes for members of our ministerial team.
• Our Worship and Music Team are now located in the 150 Alphabet Suite on the first floor.
• My office moved into the Main Office Suite on the Second Floor while the permanent suite is being built on the third floor to make room for the “Second Floor Connector” joining our current building to the new Broadway Expansion.
- First Adult Sunday School Space:
• Moving the Worship and Music Team required finding new space for some of our Bible Study groups. It was found, improvements were made, and new patterns of fellowship have already begun.
- The Service of Word and Table returned to a First Sunday of the Month schedule.
• With space at a premium, a number of combined services commemorating our 200th Anniversary, and a determination that less is more, this worship option returned to its original First Sunday of the Month schedule. If you sense a need for a more contemplative time of worship with added focus on liturgy, Scripture reading, and communion join us. Never intended to replace our morning worship gatherings, The Service of Word and Table is a supplemental time of worship for the church and community.
- A new Governance Structure has been implemented.
• Our new Trustees were elected by the church, prayerfully oriented and trained for service, and have begun their work. Jimmy Hester is Chair, Joy Harris is Vice-Chair, and John Galloway is Secretary. I know you join me in praying daily for our Trustees and our church as we learn new rhythms of working together.
Change is often resisted, but you are to be commended in the way you have embraced and supported these and other recent changes as we look forward to exciting days ahead. Your flexibility (and patience) is appreciated more than you’ll know.
I also want to acknowledge the excellent work that has been done by our “Pastor of Change and Improvement” Charles Reynolds. Charles hit the ground running six months ago when he and Nancy joined our church so that he could assume the responsibilities as our Business Administrator. He’s proven his hard work and shown innovative persistence to get us ready for a bright and bold future as Nashville’s Downtown Church.
Even as I write about change and innovation, I am reminded that our mission remains steadfast. We are a place of hope marked by a tall, historic tower in the midst of a rapidly changing city. Our mission has not changed because the needs of people have not changed. People are lost without Christ. The changes we embrace are changes we make so that we can be more effective in sharing the hope that Christ alone provides.
And because this is true, more change lies ahead. It’s what 200-year-old churches do, otherwise they don’t become 300-year-old churches!
Thanks for making some changes with us.
Dr. Frank R. Lewis